Forum Moderation

Each day more people are able to create amazing things with a Glowforge than the day before. That’s very exciting and very humbling for those of us who work at Glowforge. The community that has developed here has been breathtakingly kind, generous and helpful as new members join the group. This community would not exist without you, and we’re extraordinarily fortunate to have each and every one of you here.

As we grow, it’s important to us that we maintain the high standards of the community that you created. This starts with our community guidelines and continues with each of you. When you see posts that don’t adhere to the guidelines or posts that detract from the community, please let us know by clicking the flag icon. That highlights it for us to review.

What happens to flagged posts?

Every flagged post is reviewed by a staff member. Depending on the post, we might:

  • Dispose of the flag. Sometimes posts are flagged just so that we see them (for example, if someone accidentally posts personal information and it needs to be removed). If we dispose of the flag, nothing happens.

  • Uphold the flag. If we uphold the flag, the system tracks it as a flagged post and notifies the author. Too many flagged posts can cause a topic to be temporarily locked by the system; authors with too many flagged posts may find they may not be able to post as frequently. Because flags can be subjective, we often uphold flags only when two or more community members flag the same post.

  • Contact the author. We’re all human, sometimes conversations get heated, or we don’t realize that we’ve wandered off course. Warnings are there to help us get back on track so we can continue contributing positively to the community.

  • Delete the post. Some flagged posts are deleted for violating community guidelines.

  • Temporarily suspend the author. Some posts can have serious negative impacts on the community. Criticizing individuals rather than ideas, providing information that the poster knows to be incorrect, or impinging on the intellectual property rights of others are examples of things that may result in a temporary suspension - particularly if they occur more than once.

  • Permanently suspend the author. We hate to see anyone go. However, even more than that, we hate to see the positive contributions of so many of you overshadowed by repeated violations of the community standards. Those standards exist to create a place where you can enjoy contributing and that serves as a resource for all of us to learn and grow. When an individual demonstrates that they do not intend to respect the community’s guidelines, they may be permanently suspended from the forum. (Of course, they can still use their Glowforge, and obtain support via email).

We rarely need moderation to intervene in the community, and we hope to keep it that way. There are typically hundreds or thousands of posts without a single flag. We’ve gone years without a suspension. At the same time, we owe all of you support in keeping the community as friendly and helpful as you have all made it.

We provide a forum for all constructive conversation, even if it’s critical of us. We recognize that moderation will be all art and no science. We realize that we’re human and make mistakes. Our north star in the forum is you - what you flag for our attention, and how we can act on it to make this forum better for you.

It’s an amazing place, and we’ll do everything we can to keep it that way for you.


Q: If someone flags my posts just because they disagree with me, will the moderators delete my posts or suspend me?
A: No. There are two considerations: was it flagged, and did it violate the rules. Sometimes, a heated discussion will cause controversial opinions to be flagged. If they don’t violate the rules, though, the flags are not upheld, so no action is taken.

Q: Will the moderators delete my posts for being critical of Glowforge?
A: No. We welcome constructive opinions and information. We only delete flagged posts that violate the rules, and there are no rules against being critical of us (or about providing information about other laser companies, which we welcome as well). We only ask that you be agreeable, even when you disagree.

Q: What if I didn’t know that I did something wrong?
A: People make mistakes. When the moderators take action on a post, we’ll let you know why.


For me, the forum is an extension - a feature of this wonderful tool. Pretty sure I can speak for the majority of us in thanking those of the team who spend time moderating it!
The glowforge wouldn’t be the same for me without this resource.
A humble thanks to all of the members who make this place what it is. :heart_eyes::sunglasses:


Just be careful what you say, or it’ll be taken away.


to be fair, @jae mentioned the exact thing he was temporarily banned for in her post.

He was permanently banned.

that wasn’t what i understood, and he’s obviously posting again, so maybe it was a permanent ban that was reinstated? i can’t say for sure, i don’t have all the details (and i don’t believe they were ever all shared). but he’s not currently banned, so in the end, it wasn’t permanent.

They just permanently banned him today, for that post that I linked to.

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That may have started it, but step 3 of the process outlined above is they contact the person. It would appear as if that contact/interchange did not go well.

I don’t think that is necessarily a process:

emphasis added

In this case, they skipped the contact and went directly to the ban hammer.

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Not exactly direct. Had been suspended for the same before and he acknowledged his knowing what he was doing.

I’m assuming you heard this from him. But I also assume you did not get confirmation from GF as to what occurred because they have not historically commented on personal matters. I would expect normal aggrieved-party-bias might color one-sided information paths.

You’re doing a lot of cool stuff & posting the results in the same vein without similar repercussions so it doesn’t seem to be a policy that information sharing or comments of that type are arbitrarily being moderated. That suggests there’s more to it than we know.

Trust me, he’s not aggrieved. More like amused.

Sometimes, things are just what they are:


A thousand year timeout. Ooof. That’s Hanibal Lechter type sentencing :slightly_smiling_face:


So I was all about to post a wholly different comment on this, but then I deleted the whole thing because the topic is somewhat radioactive. This is kind of the razor’s edge, right? Moderation to protect their interests or the civility of the forums is a good thing, but it leads to a chilling of freedom to comment on things.

In the end, the forum will die if we don’t trust each other and especially the admins, but if we don’t feel free to discuss how and why someone got culled, then it’s a sign that we don’t trust the admins. Catch-22.


I know I had many disagreements with palmercr, but I’m sad to see him banned. He provided good insight a lot of the time, just wasn’t the best at filtering sometimes.

I don’t know if there was more to that email (or any previous ones), but I think it’s rediculous to ban someone without pointing to a specific post or action they took and saying “this violated this rule.” It’s cheap and unbackable to just say “you violated a rule” without providing the when and how of it occurring.


Probably the one where he said, “I’ll probably get banned for posting this.”

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This one.

Which, quite honestly, was only restating information that is already widely known.

Probably tempting fate, but I didn’t get banned for posting the exact same thing, twice:


“Probably” isn’t enough for a banhammer. Sure, in all likelihood it was that one. In fact, I’m pretty sure of it. But. What if it was a little more ambiguous? If they set the precedent of “you know what you did wrong” then they can get away with banning you willy-nilly and not have to answer as to why

Here’s the thing. We are guests here. All of us. Our length of stay is dictated by whether we follow the written rules or not.

Do they owe more than a “you violated this rule and it’s your second infraction of this particular rule”?

Seems like it’s a bit like firing someone. “Your services are no longer needed.” Not - you violated this rule, that rule, with a link to the handbook and the post and an “I’m sorry”, “good luck” etc.


Yeah, kinda hard not to know exactly what you’re getting banned for when you publicly state you know it will get you banned. (And you’ve likley been banned for it before.) Bit of a no brainier and what more did they need to explain really. I don’t know if palmercr intentionally poked the bear or just rolled the dice hoping it would slide, but he chose his path. Sorry we’ve lost his insights and knowledge.